Succumbing to budgetary pressures, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has decided to pull out of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) when it expires in September 2013. The decision will leave the scientific ocean drilling programs of both Japan—the co-leader with the United States in the 26-nation IODP—and Europe to fend for themselves while the United States solicits contributions from former IODP countries to return its own drill ship to full-time operation. Fiscal strains had been building for several years. A doubling of NSF’s budget had not materialized, and even future budget increases are doubtful. The cost of fuel for the ship, the JOIDES Resolution, has skyrocketed, and cost overruns in the recent refurbishment of the ship are still being paid off. The proposed new arrangement would streamline the management of drilling, according to NSF officials, allowing new economies. Unspecified “new external sources of revenue” would also be generated. Last week’s announcement did not surprise Japanese drilling officials. They say they will look to the international community not so much for funding as intellectual input in planning and executing the scientific agenda of the far more capable Chikyu drill ship. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) This week’s issue of Science contains an exclusive report on why NSF took this surprising step, and what it means for the rest of the global scientific community.
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6 children among 13 burnt to death in Pak road accidentLahore, Feb 10 (PTI) At least 13 people, including six children, were charred to death today in an explosion caused by collision between a gas tanker and a speeding car near Nankana Sahib in Pakistans largest province of Punjab.The incident occurred in Manawala area of Sheikhupura when the car of an assistant sub-inspector and a constable collided with a liquefied petroleum gas tanker and caught fire.A rickshaw carrying 10 school children was also set ablaze while passing on the same road, rescue workers said, resulting in the death of six students.Shops in the surrounding area caught fire and pedestrians were sprayed with petroleum.”13 people including six children were killed and 20 suffered injuries,” rescue official Jam Sajjad said.Twelve people have been seriously injured and they were transferred to a nearby hospital.All the bodies have been burnt and some of them were burnt beyond recognition, rescue official Muhammad Azam said.Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has ordered probe into the incident and announced compensation for the victim families. PTI SH UZM
From the Mint team: Mint may be compensated if you click on the links to our issuer partners’ offers that appear in this article, including Chase. Our partners do not endorse, review or approve the content. Any links to Mint… Full Story,From the Mint team: Mint may be compensated if you click on the links to our issuer partners’ offers that appear in this article, including Chase. Our partners do not endorse, review or approve the content. Any links to Mint… Full Story,From the Mint team: Mint may be compensated if you click on the links to our issuer partners’ offers that appear in this article, including Chase. Our partners do not endorse, review or approve the content. Any links to Mint… Full Story,There’s a specific conversation I frequently have with people around my age. As they get closer to middle adulthood and look back on everything they’ve learned about money, they start to wonder – why didn’t they teach us this stuff… Full Story,Depending on what you look for in a card, one of these may be a perfect fit your do-it-yourself projects. Follow along to learn more about these top five credit cards for DIYers. Full Story,In many ways, our credit determines our power as consumers. The strength of our credit profile and score enable us to rent an apartment, take out a car loan, and sign up for a cell phone number. Can you imagine… Full Story,Travel credit cards are available with a wide array of rewards, redemption options, fees, and bonuses. Weeding through so many general and branded travel rewards cards can be tough, so we picked out some favorites for a wide range of travel styles – so you can find the best travel credit card for your wallet.Full Story,Traveling abroad carries with it all sorts of potential credit issues. Some are just mildly annoying, but some can leave you stranded in Amsterdam, relying on the help of a broke friend you haven’t seen since high school. To avoid those issues and everything in between, here are some tips for using credit abroad. Full Story,The top reward credit cards cater to an array of desires. Whether you want to get cash back or earn miles and points toward free travel, the cards below are all a great place to get started.Full Story,From the Mint team: Mint may be compensated by some of the links that appear in this article, including Chase. Our partners do not endorse, review or approve the content. Any links to Mint Partners were added after the creation… Full Story
Some people are fortunate enough to have jobs that allow them to negotiate a salary increase annually without extra effort on their part — the increase in salary might be automatic and might occur each year after the person’s performance review.The rest of us are stuck with the task of asking for a raise on our own.Asking your boss to pay you more can be nerve wracking, but it’s something you need to do if you want to move ahead in your career.Timing is EverythingThere’s a right time and a wrong time to ask for a raise.For example, you don’t want to ask for a salary boost after just a month or two on the job. But, if you’ve been with the same employer in the same position for a year or two, it’s time to negotiate a salary increase, especially if your position has evolved over those two years.It’s also time to ask for a raise if you have taken on more and greater responsibilities in your position.The next step is figuring out the best day to ask for a raise.Earlier in the week is better than on a Thursday or Friday, when everyone wants to go home for the weekend and when paperwork, including the document authorizing your pay increase, can get pushed to the side.Also, you may find that scheduling a meeting with your boss before lunch is better than waiting until after lunch.Make the meeting strictly about your raise. It’s not appropriate to bring up a salary increase during a meeting about your clients.Tell your boss the reason for the meeting in advance, so that he or she has time to think it over and doesn’t feel as though you are ambushing him.Another important timing consideration is to account for the health of your company. If business is lagging or your company recently announced that it will be laying people off, it won’t’ be the best day to ask for a raise for quite some time.Take the pulse of your company before you ask for a raise. Learn about its financial condition by checking earnings reports and other financial documents. These should be easy to find if the company is publicly traded.If the business is losing money, your boss won’t be inclined to bump up your pay.Ways to AskAlong with getting the timing right, the way you go about asking for a raise is critical. Any discussion you have about your salary should take place in person. Don’t ask for a raise over email or leave a voice message for your boss requesting a raise.Do some research into the typical salary for your job before you approach your boss.If you’ve been in the position for over a year, you want to make more than the typical entry-level salary for the job. You can find average salary information online or by checking with a professional organization.Highlight the reasons you believe you should receive a raise. Make your reasons legitimate and don’t ever threaten your employer or make snarky comments to him or her.For example, it’s never a good idea to argue that you do as much work or more than your boss and deserve a better salary. What you can state is that you’ve taken on more assignments or assumed a greater level of responsibility since you started.Be ready to provide concrete examples to your boss.Getting the Details RightAsking for a raise is in many ways about getting the tiny details right. For example, you want to make sure you talk to the proper person about your raise. Make an appointment with your immediate supervisor, not with the CEO of the company.You also want to be sure not to ask for too much. A good rule of thumb to follow is to ask for a 3 percent increase in your salary, as that is the typical cost-of-living increase.Any more than that and you risk coming across as overly eager, greedy, or completely clueless.Remember that nothing in business is personal. If you are having a rough time financially or are struggling to make ends meet, don’t bring that information into the meeting.Your boss will be willing to pay you more if he thinks you’re a great asset to the company. Your raise will have nothing to do with whether or not you can pay your bills.Kelly Anderson is a financial planner who blogs about financial advice you can use in your everyday life. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) RelatedHow to Negotiate Your Salary: A Guide for Recent GradsMarch 19, 2019In “Early Career”What is a Stipend: Everything You Need to KnowSeptember 5, 2019In “Financial IQ”3 Not-So-Secret Ways to Raise Your Credit Score (And 1 Bonus Tip to Help Keep It High)September 5, 2018In “Credit Info” Post navigation
Whether you’re running your own business or working for someone else, certain metrics are key to understanding how you’re doing financially. Net income and gross income are two numbers that can help you evaluate your business or personal finances. Various… Full Story,Black Women’s Equal Pay Day is deliberately separate from the Spring Equal Pay Day. It is held at this time of year as it marks the amount of additional time it takes for a black woman to earn the same… Full Story,Sometime last week, news might have filtered to you through your favorite social media platform, feed, or blog, that the Federal Reserve lowered the Fed interest rate by 0.25%. The announcement made on July 31st by the Federal Reserve chairman… Full Story,The other week, while I was digging up weeds during my volunteership at the botanical garden, my 19-year-old colleague turned to me and asked, “Jackie, what would you tell your 20-year-old self?” Whelp. I leaned in, gave her my wise,… Full Story,I’ve gotten to a point in my career where I’m commonly referred to as a financial “expert”. I’ve worked hard to broaden my knowledge and fill in the gaps, so I feel pretty comfortable in that role. When a friend… Full Story,With much of the country experiencing frighteningly cold temperatures, it doesn’t seem like the time to issue “ways to save during winter” advice. With temperatures well below zero, the last thing anyone should be doing right now is turning off… Full Story,Personal finance and investing gurus are fond of an old Chinese proverb: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” Chances are you’ve heard it before. It’s a profound quote, and… Full Story,For most of us, getting organized is a pipe dream. The random creams, pastes, and oils in your bathroom cabinet will probably never be color coordinated or arranged alphabetically. Your sock drawer will probably be a nest of tangled and… Full Story,For some people, stability is the norm. They’re successful, happy and blissfully unaware of just how lucky they are to be in such a comfortable position. For the rest of us, chaos is the status quo. Financial and mental instability… Full Story,If your finances are a constant source of stress and anxiety, you’re certainly not alone. In fact, 40 percent of American adults say they would have a tough time covering an unexpected expense of $400 or more, according to the… Full Story
Hoping things will heat up after dinner – or breakfast? Luckily, you don’t need to rethink your daily dishes to get in the mood. The following one-ingredient additions to your go-to meals can get the sparks flying between you and your partner. Here are the easiest ways to work aphrodisiacs into your regularly scheduled meals. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds on riceForget about frying your rice. Elevate your grains in a healthier, racier way. Pomegranates are packed with antioxidants, which increase arterial blood flow to the brain, heart and genitals, according to Virgin. And you know what that can do! Add ½ cup of pomegranate seeds for each cup of rice for some sweet zest that’ll carry over to post-dinner fun. Works just as well with quinoa and other grains. Have oysters to startBivalves aren’t just a fun appetizer to enjoy with a glass of bubbly. The mollusks are said to assist with testosterone production and spermatogenesis because of the zinc found in them. Amino acids and serotonin may also come into play, encouraging a pleasure response in our neural pathway. Don’t forget chocolate for dessert.If you’re making dinner for someone special, it’s usually a good idea to whip up a chocolatey treat to go with it. In addition to ending the meal on a sweet note, you’ll both get a dose of theobromine from your decadent dessert, which helps your brain produce serotonin that will keep the good vibes going. Go for dark chocolate to enjoy the added bonus of antioxidants. Sprinkle walnuts on a salad.Salads are already a warm-weather staple; toss in walnuts and extra-steamy nights may be ahead. ‘They’re a great source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and good heart function promotes great sex and functioning loins,’ says Dr. Rosofsky. Bonus: They’re natural anti-depressants, keeping you in a good mood for good sex. A handful of walnuts, which contains more than 2,500 mg of omega-3s, is plenty. Put spinach on your hamburger.Later, lettuce. Stack spinach on your burger instead. ‘It’s a nutrient powerhouse, offering the mineral magnesium, which relaxes arteries and promotes blood flow to the genitals,’ says Virgin. ‘Optimal blood flow means more stimulation and stronger erections.’Plus, one study showed that magnesium increases testosterone levels in men, adds Virgin. Magnesium also calms the body and ups your energy – two key components for a successful romp. Source Top an omelette with some caviar.‘There is nothing sexier to me than a decadent spoonful of caviar on a buttery piece of toasted brioche,’ says Schaffer. Turns out, the pricey fish eggs can also lend a hand in boosting your libido, providing and extra dose of energy thanks to its zinc and protein content. The amino acid L-arginine may also increase blood flow, which could have you feeling frisky. If caviar toast or classic blinis don’t sound filling enough, make a meal out of it by adding a spoonful atop a fluffy omelette on date night, or for a sensual breakfast-in-bed.
The shares of PG&E, California’s utility, lost nearly half their value in January after the company filed for bankruptcy protection because of its role in California wildfires. While this may have resulted in huge losses for some investors, those who carefully scrutinized environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factor—and took note of wildfire-related risk—would have seen the warning signs flashing long before then, and avoided exposure to such a high risk investment.Taking ESG factors into account in investment decisions has become synonymous with sustainable investing—an area experiencing rapid growth in the investment industry. Morningstar found that the number of sustainable investment funds in the United States alone grew 50% between 2017 and 2018, to 351 funds with $161 billion under management at the end of 2018. While sustainable investing is growing in popularity, not all investors are integrating ESG considerations into their decision-making—yet. A recent ESG policy statement by the CFA Institute underscores how this needs to change.The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) credential is considered the gold standard in the field of investment analysis and management. CFAs are often portfolio managers and research analysts at investment management firms.The CFA Institute manages this credential, which is held by over 150,000 investment professionals worldwide. While it stopped short of formally requiring CFA charterholders to factor in ESG, its guidance carries a lot of weight in the investment community. We wanted to highlight four takeaways:1. Including ESG factors into investment analysis is consistent with fiduciary dutyFiduciary duties exist to ensure that anyone who manages other people’s money act in the best interests of beneficiaries. When you invest in a fund like a mutual fund, the fund manager has the fiduciary duty to invest in your best interests. Until recently, incorporating ESG factors into the investment process was widely assumed to violate fiduciary duty. The argument was built on the assumption that incorporating ESG factors requires a trade-off in investment performance or financial returns. This is often used as an excuse for not considering ESG factors. But it turns out, this isn’t true.CFA Institute helps to put this debate to rest in its policy statement.2. Better ESG factoring leads to better investment decisionsThe CFA Institute’s new statement emphasizes the need for charterholders to factor in all material information, including material ESG factors, in their financial analysis—because doing so will improve their investment decisions. Material factors are those that a reasonable person would consider important in making investment decisions.Knowing which ESG factors are material is critical but not straightforward, since materiality is not universal. For example, water management is a material factor for a food and beverage company, but not a financial services company; data security is material for a health care company, but not a mining company. The Sustainable Accounting Standards Board (SASB) has helped to address this challenge by mapping out which sustainability issues are likely to be material to companies within a given industry.In their push for “better factoring” CFA Institute seems to acknowledge the dangers of taking a framework or rating at face value and stopping there. Going back to PG&E—on first blush, it did well on ESG criteria. PG&E ranks among U.S. utilities with the most renewable energy, and it had received higher-than-average ratings for environmental factors by many major providers of ESG ratings, including Bloomberg, RobecoSAM and Sustainalytics.These firms missed something. The key material factor that went unnoticed for many was wildfire-related risk. SASB’s materiality map, for instance, doesn’t highlight physical impacts of climate change—like wildfires—as material issues for electric utilities. But the risk was embedded in PG&E long before the bankruptcy filing, as PG&E repeatedly delayed a safety overhaul of a transmission line believed to cause the deadliest wildfire in California. Only MSCI cut PG&E’s ESG rating in September 2018 in anticipation of wildfire-related liabilities.(Although it is true that investors and ratings do not and cannot accurately forecast every crisis, the inconsistent ESG ratings of PG&E highlight weaknesses in current ESG disclosure and rating systems meant to support informed, efficient investment decisions—more on these issues in #3 and #4.)It’s not just active investors who can use ESG factoring. In its statement, CFA Institute also alludes to the importance of ESG factoring for passive products (for example, index funds and exchange-traded funds) that are growing in popularity. CFA institute encourages all investment professionals to consider material ESG factors regardless of investment style, asset class or investment approach.3. Companies’ ESG disclosures require further improvements in quality, consistency and comparabilityThe investment decision-making process relies on proper company disclosures. CFA Institute notes that ESG disclosures and data provided by corporations, such as sustainability reporting, are oftentimes inadequate and require further standardization and refinement to improve quality, consistency and comparability. For instance, companies may not provide robust quantitative performance indicators and instead resort to check-boxes or boilerplate language about ESG issues. We had similar insights in our own commentary on sustainability data that we published earlier this year.In response to the data gap and investors’ growing demands for ESG disclosures, frameworks and standards developed by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), SASB, and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) have been promoting standardized disclosure.4. ESG investment products need to provide detailed disclosures about their ESG processESG- and sustainable-labeled investment products and services, such as funds and ratings, have integrated ESG factors. However, they are not always transparent about how they do it. Many ESG/sustainable investment products and services rely on ESG scores, ratings or rankings in one form or another. For example, the S&P 500 ESG Index relies on scores provided by RobecoSAM, while the MSCI World ESG Universal Index uses the ESG ratings developed by MSCI itself. These ESG scores or ratings have different assumptions about what is material—and as a result, they have very low correlation between each other. In other words, ESG can mean different things, depending who you ask.CFA Institute believes that ESG investment products must include adequate and detailed disclosures with periodic verification. Meaning, asset managers and index creators need to do more to pull back the curtain on their ESG/sustainable investing products and reassure investors about the substance behind their ESG claims.What CFA Institute Is Doing NextCFA Institute still gives full discretion to its charterholders to determine which ESG issues are material and exactly how to integrate ESG factors into their processes. However, it seems to have a strong focus on providing more educational materials on ESG to its members and candidates, which should help bring more rigor and clarity to ESG integration processes. CFA Institute is also working with other stakeholders like SASB and the Principles for Responsible Investment to improve the quality, consistency and availability of ESG information.We are encouraged that CFA Institute’s seems to be strengthening its focus on ESG. Their support and efforts are essential to help ensure that investment capital is deployed to support a more sustainable future while delivering better returns to investors. We urge charterholders to take heed of CFA Institute’s call to action on ESG, and hope that CFA Institute will do more to focus attention on its ESG policy statement.This blog post was edited to reflect the fact Bloomberg is a provider of ESG ratings, but not a ratings agency.
… Enable ease of social sharing but adding social sharing links to all your content so those who come across it can easily spread it across their networks. Consider creating content in bite sizes or construct a whole piece of content that can be broken down into smaller pieces. Slide presentations that curate different data points or statistics are one example of this. the next big hit on YouTube Sh*t My Dad Says Justin Halpern, on the other hand, hit the word of mouth motherlode with his ‘ Viral Campaigns or that our little marketing meme ultimately spreads across Facebook and Twitter like wildfire, let’s be honest — the majority of our efforts won’t make it that big. 3. Make Sure It’s High in Quality . Follow these tips, and who knows, you might just get lucky like Justin did. ” web series, Justin shares his story about how he got to where he is today. Creating content that goes viral is no easy feat. While many of us marketers are secretly crossing our fingers that the new video we produced ends up Marketing Takeaway: 1. Make it Easy to Consume One of the reasons Justin’s Sh*t My Dad Says series spread so quickly is because it offered bite-sized content that was easy to consume. People could quickly visit his Twitter feed and read as many or as few of his posts as they had time to. Whether they spent 5 seconds or 5 minutes perusing his Twitter feed didn’t matter. Either way, they still walked away with the same user experience. still have marketing value Marketing Takeaway: As Justin mentions during his interview, when he first starting tweeting the funny mutterings of his father, he didn’t think much of it. “Everyone thinks their dad is funny,” he commented, which led him to believe the sh*t his dad said might not be funny to an audience on a broader scale. Well, turns out his initial skepticism was wrong, since Justin never would have made it as big as he did had the content he created been, well, the opposite of funny. Rise to the Top 3 Key Lessons for Creating Viral Content From Justin Halpern ‘ phenomenon. Originating as a fun, silly hobby he shared with friends, Halpern’s musings have since gone viral and generated over 2.3 million Twitter followers, more than 16k Facebook Fans, and led to two book deals and a TV sitcom on CBS for Halpern. key elements of many successful viral sensations You can create as much bite-sized, easy-to-share content as you want. The bottom line is, if people don’t like it, they won’t want to share it, and it won’t go viral. Put time and effort into creating content to increase the likelihood that it will spread. Marketing Takeaway: While there may be no secret sauce that guarantees you a viral marketing hit, Justin’s success reminds us of a few Topics: Originally published May 16, 2011 8:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 2. Make it Easy to Share In the below interview with David Siteman Garland on his ” While creating viral content is difficult to achieve, there are definitely best practices to observe when it comes to producing something that has the potential to spread. And even if your creation doesn’t become a raging viral phenomenon, it will Similarly, Justin’s phenomenon was easily spreadable. People could quickly share a link to his Twitter feed, retweet their favorite Sh*t My Dad Says tweets, or post them to Facebook and other social networks. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Since 1997, the Harry Potter books have been a big part of many of our lives. Whether you were someone who stood in line for hours to be the first to see a new movie or anxiously awaited a book release to find out if Harry Potter would finally defeat Voldemort, you have been a part of the Harry Potter revolution. But this story goes beyond a wizard in a magical world to a strategic approach that J.K. Rowling took when writing the books and marketing them. So as the movie series comes to an end on Friday, think about the marketing lessons that can be learned from Harry Potter. 1. Develop a Strategic Approach When J.K. Rowling first started to write the Harry Potter books , she knew exactly how the characters and story were going to develop. For years, fans asked her how the story was going to end, if Harry was going to die, if Snape had allegiance to Dumbledore or Voldemort. She never said a word, but she told the world that she knew the answers. As a marketer, it is important to develop a strategy. Create goals, and execute your strategy with those goals in mind. You will find that you will have more success with a strategic approach from the beginning until the end than you will if you just make it up as you go. 2. Viral Marketing After the phenomenon began, J.K. Rowling did not have to do much promoting. The fans took over and created many viral campaigns on her behalf talking about the excitement they had over upcoming releases. Harry Potter is often a trending topic on Twitter, Facebook events and page are abundant and thousands of bloggers create posts on their behalf. These promotions are more genuine because they come from the source, the fans, instead of the person who makes a profit. In the same ways, marketers need to utilize inbound marketing to create the same buzz over their product, service or company. Positive reviews and promotions that come straight from consumers are more valuable than content that comes from the company. Utilize the different social media tools that are available online to create the hype that you need to be successful. 3. Multi-Channel Approach J.K. Rowling used multiple channels to reach her audience. She recognized that her audience ranged from young children to adults, and she needed to cater to their interests. In addition to the books and movies, she created an experience through amusement parks like the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. She is now entering the social media space by creating Pottermore which will open in October. The Harry Potter trailers reached millions of viewers on YouTube . Marketers should follow her example by using many channels to get their message out. Different parts of your audience are more attracted through different means making it necessary to use a healthy mix of promotional tools. 4. Play Off Your Audience’s Personality After a few book releases, J.K. Rowling knew how to reach her audience. She knew the anticipation of new books or movies, sneak previews and subtle hints made her audience go wild. In the years to come, she used this knowledge to generate more buzz about anything relating to Harry Potter. Marketers need to do a lot of research to understand and connect with their audience. The more knowledge you have, the easier it will be to execute your strategy. If your audience is attracted by a certain channel, use it. If your audience is attracted by a certain message, use it. If your audience is attracted by a certain spokesperson, use them. Having this knowledge about your audience puts you miles ahead of your competitors. 5. Create a Distinct Brand When you think of Harry Potter a few keywords come to mind. They could be wizard, lightning bolt scar, Quidditch, or “the boy who lived.” These characteristics of this book series are recognized by people who aren’t even fans. J.K. Rowling has created a distinct brand for Harry Potter that is comparable to Nike, Apple and Coca-Cola. Marketers need to follow this lead and create specific and identifiable brands for their company or cause. What message does your brand have? What is your brand supposed to symbolize? How will other people connect with your brand? What does your brand mean to your audience? Identifying all aspects of your brand is important at the start of any campaign.What other marketing lessons can you think of from the Harry Potter series?Photo Credit: bibicall Marketing Advice Originally published Jul 12, 2011 5:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Topics:
Have you noticed how your Facebook News Feed contains a stream of posts from your over-sharing aunt, your latest favorite band, the Whole Foods around the corner, that one popular girl from high school, and Yahoo! News? Now more than ever, brands are using the same digital real estate we all use to connect with peers, friends, and family to reach consumers. Jay Baer, a marketing strategist, speaker, and author of a new, New York Times Best Selling book called Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is About Help Not Hype, says this social media melting pot of brands, friends, and family creates an “invitation avalanche:” everyone and every brand is inviting you to read this, watch that, “like” it, then share it. We’re bombarded with these invitations masquerading as news, advertising, events, articles, and status updates. For companies, Jay says the only way to truly stand out amidst this information overload is to either be amazing (“Be like Zappos!”), which can be hard, or be useful — a much more practical option. If as a company you become massively useful, your customers will keep you close in their digital watering holes, just like friends and family. This is the essence of what Jay calls “Youtility,” marketing so useful people would pay you for it. (Except, of course, you don’t charge.) Youtility is marketing consumers want to consume, not marketing brands simply want create.Here’s what it looks like.Youtility Marketing in Action: 3 ExamplesTwo of these examples of awesomely useful marketing you’ll find discussed in greater detail in Jay’s book (along with many other examples). I added one to the mix (can you guess which one?)1) Car Seat Helper: A Mobile App From the Phoenix Children’s HospitalIf you are/were a parent, which would you trust more with your injured child: a hospital that has made a proactive effort to keep your child safe, or just any old clinic around the corner?Parents everywhere — not just in Phoenix, Arizona — struggle to select the safest car seat for their children, especially with an array of models, colors, and sizes to choose from. Instead of grabbing one out of 45 models off the shelf at Babies “R” Us and risking an accident, PCH created an award-winning mobile app that would recommend the ideal car seat based on a child’s height and weight. The app wasn’t just downloaded and used by tens of thousands of parents; it found its way into numerous police and fire safety training programs spanning from California to New Jersey.You know what else is cool about the app? PCH didn’t fetch all the information to create the app from scratch. The American Academy of Pediatrics already had a brochure with the data and recommendations in the hospital’s Injury Prevention Center, but it wasn’t packaged in a way that made it as helpful as it could be.Like PCH, your company can create Youtility by simply building upon an idea that already exists.2) Biophilia: Björk’s Interactive App AlbumMusic is created to be heard, right? But as a musician, how do you enter a growing number of ears when the volume of music in the world is produced, remixed, published, and shared faster than it can be consumed? You enhance the listening experience.That’s what Björk did with Biophilia, the album she released in July 2011. Unlike typical albums, Biophilia was released in partnership with Apple as a series of ten apps for the iPhone and iPad. Each app allowed fans to explore a different song within a new virtual, 3-dimensional universe that included gaming elements, lyrics, and access to essays and artifacts Björk used for inspiration when creating each song. The apps even included visualizations to watch while listening, or snippets of the songs to manipulate and create as your own. Watch the video below to see what I mean.Biophilia is Youtility; it’s so useful it’s being used to teach children about music and science in Iceland. It’s so useful it tempts fans and non-fans alike to purchase the app. And even two years after its debut, the album is in the news: recently, a startup in San Francisco helped make the iOS-only app available on Android to reach an even wider audience — school music programs with slashed budgets in particular. How’s that for helpful?3) Pool 101: Common Pre-Purchase Pool Questions Answered by River Pools and SpasThe foreword to Youtility contains a business success story written by Marcus Sheridan, a marketing consultant known as “The Sales Lion,” and co-owner of a pool company in Virginia called River Pools and Spas (who also happens to be a HubSpot customer). I won’t spill all the beans for you, but I will sum up the River Pools and Spas like so: while facing “complete financial ruin” at the beginning of 2009, Marcus made the decision to “act like a swimming pool consumer instead of a swimming pool installer.” This changed everything. The first thing he did was brainstorm every question related to pools he was ever asked by prospects and customers, and then he started answering each in a separate blog post. Week after week, Marcus added more posts answering more questions. Today, River Pools and Spas is the most trafficked pool website in the world. River Pools and Spas answered questions its competitors were too afraid or too lazy to answer in its Pool 101 article and video series, and throughout its entire blog. As a result, potential pool buyers trust River Pools and Spas with their pool purchase because they learned everything they needed to know from their content. Youtility doesn’t have to be an elaborate app or digital experience; it just needs to be wanted by consumers. So, how do you go about creating marketing people actually crave?The 6-Step Path to Creating Your Own Inherently Useful MarketingSo, how can you be a Youtility marketer? Reference this checklist that’ll help you establish whether the marketing content you’re creating is truly helpful. I think you’ll find being useful isn’t that hard, and the rewards are worth the gut check. You can also read more about how to create Youtility for your company in Jay’s new book, and download and print this checklist if you prefer non-digital versions of your reminders 😉 (Embed This Infographic)So, how does your marketing measure up? Are you investing in creating helpful marketing? If so, how? Share your stories in the comments! Topics: Originally published Jul 30, 2013 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Marketing Strategy Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
When you break a landing page down to its most basic level, you’re left with a few things: a catchy headline, a form, a few bullet points, and maybe a supporting visual.These elements are often combined in a similar format, dressed up with the branding of the company, and pushed live with the hope that they’ll be enough to invite engagement. What’s missing? Persuasion — a meaningful push that actually makes a visitor want to take action.If you want to drive better results for your next campaign, you need take your approach to landing page creation a step further. To help you get the conversions you deserve, check out the following principles adapted from Unbounce Co-Founder Oli Gardner’s ebook on attention-driven design. Landing Page Design Originally published Sep 22, 2015 12:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics:
Products are never just products, right?Coca-Cola is more than a soda. Starbucks is more than a coffee. Ray-Ban is more than a pair of sunglasses. Glossier is more than a tube of concealer.Interacting with these products provide experiences, and we buy them with that experience in mind. Better yet, the companies that create and market them know exactly the experience they want you to have when you make (or consider) a purchase. That’s why they create a brand.From the language in their Instagram caption to the color palette on their latest billboard to the material used in their packaging, companies who create strong brands know that their brand needs to live everywhere. They know their names extend far beyond the label.The result? These brands are known, loved, and chosen out of a long lineup of options.Who doesn’t want that? I know I do. That’s why we built this guide — to equip you to create and manage a strong brand that’ll help your business be admired, remembered, and preferred.Use the links below to jump ahead to sections of interest, and don’t forget to bookmark this guide for later.Click here to download our comprehensive guide to effective and measurable branding. How to Create a Brand What is Branding? Branding The Importance of Branding Branding can be the deciding factor for consumers when they make a purchase decision. In a 2015 global Nielsen survey, almost 60% of shoppers said they actively buy from brands they know, and 21% said they bought a product because they liked the brand.Branding gives your business an identity beyond its product or service. It gives consumers something to relate to and connect with.Branding makes your business memorable. It’s the face of your company and helps consumers distinguish your business across every medium (which I discuss later).Branding supports your marketing and advertising efforts. It helps your promotion pack that extra punch with added recognition and impact.Branding brings your employees pride. When you brand your company, you’re not only giving your business identity, you’re also creating a reputable, highly-regarded workplace. Strong branding brings in strong employees.Branding Terms to KnowHere are some other brand-related buzzwords you should know. They further demonstrate the importance and value of branding your business.Brand awarenessBrand awareness refers to how familiar the general public and your target audience is with your brand. High brand awareness leads to brands being referred to as “trending,” “buzzworthy, or “popular.” Brand awareness is important because consumers can’t consider purchasing from your brand if they’re not aware of it.👉🏼 Strong branding makes your business known.Brand extensionBrand extensions are when companies “extend” their brand to develop new products in new industries and markets. Consider Honda lawn mowers or Martha Stewart bedding. Brand extensions allow companies (or individuals) to leverage brand awareness and equity to create more revenue streams and diversify product lines.👉🏼 Strong branding brings in more money.Brand identityBrand identity is the personality of your business and the promise you make to your customers. It’s what you want your customers to walk away with after they interact with your brand. Your brand identity is typically comprised of your values, how you communicate your product or service, and what you want people to feel when they interact with it.👉🏼 Strong branding gives your business more than a name.Brand managementBrand management refers to the process of creating and maintaining your brand. It includes managing the tangible elements of your brand (style guide, packaging, color palette) and the intangible elements (how it’s perceived by your target audience and customer base). Your brand is a living, breathing asset, and it should be managed as such.👉🏼 Strong branding requires consistent upkeep.Brand recognitionBrand recognition is how well a consumer (ideally in your target audience) can recognize and identify your brand without seeing your business name — through your logo, tagline, jingle, packaging, or advertising. This concept goes hand-in-hand with brand recall, which is the ability to think of a brand without any visual or auditory identifiers.👉🏼 Strong branding keeps your business top-of-mind.Real-life brand example: Want to test your brand knowledge? Take this Logo Quiz by Business Insider to see how well you know your corporate brands. This is brand recognition at work.Brand trustBrand trust refers to how strongly customers and consumers believe in your brand. Do you deliver on your marketing promises? Do your salespeople and customer service go above and beyond? These things can create trust among your customers, which is important in a world where a mere 25% of people feel confident in large businesses.👉🏼 Strong branding builds trust with your customers.Brand valuationBrand valuation is the commercial valuation of your brand derived from consumer perception, recognition, and trust. This concept goes hand-in-hand with brand equity. A powerful brand can make your business invaluable to investors, shareholders, and potential buyers.👉🏼 Strong branding increases your business’s value.Want to build an effective, measurable brand? Download our free guide on How to Build a Brand in 2019. Determine your target audienceEstablish your mission statementDefine your values, features, and benefitsCreate your visual assetsFind your brand voicePut your branding to work Prioritize consistencyInconsistency is the number one branding mistake that companies make. Inconsistency undermines your brand and confuses your customers. Recognizable, valuable brands prioritize consistency — and they reap the benefits. When your brand is a unified presence across mediums and platforms, customers can easily get familiar with, recognize, and come to prefer your brand over time. Brand guidelines can help with this initiative.Build and follow a brand strategyA brand strategy is more than your brand guidelines; it’s a plan with specific, long-term goals that can be achieved as your brand evolves. These goals typically revolve around your brand’s purpose, emotion, flexibility, competitive awareness, and employee involvement.Remember how I said that branding is a continuous process? There’s a lot that goes into it. A brand strategy can help you turn that process into a well-oiled practice that keeps your brand moving toward success and recognition.Don’t let inspiration turn into imitationCompetitive analysis is important. Not only does it educate you on where your competition stands and how they are excelling, but it can also give you ideas on how you can improve or further set apart your brand.However, be conscious to not fall into an imitation trap. Keep your competitive research limited and focus on what your organization brings to the table. Just because a competitor (or two) has branded their company in a certain way doesn’t mean that you have to follow suit. New, unique, provocative brands are memorable brands.Use branding to hireStrong branding makes your employees proud. I know I’m proud to be associated with HubSpot, much less work there. Leverage your branding to attract talented people. If hiring is a strong initiative for your organization, dedicate some of your resources to employer branding. Employer branding is how you market your company to job seekers and current employees. If you’re publically proud of your organization, others will be, too.Ready, Set, BrandBranding is your organization’s name, logo, color palette, voice, and imagery. It’s also more. It’s that intangible feeling your customers have when they interact with your brand. You know … that experience we talked about in the beginning.That’s how powerhouse brands deviate from all the others. The tangible components contribute to this — a gorgeous logo, a clever tagline, an authentic manifesto, and a clear brand voice — but truly strong brands thrive when they focus on the big picture of their brand. Get to the heart and soul of your target audience and your organization, and a successful brand will follow. Here’s how you can create a brand — or begin the process of rebranding your current one.There’s a lot that goes into a brand, and there’s a lot to consider when building a strong one. So, grab a notebook and jot down ideas as you move through this section. Recognize that branding is an iterative process, so you might be repeating some of these steps as you brainstorm and build your brand.1. Determine your target audienceBranding leads to awareness, recognition, trust, and revenue. We’ve talked about that. But let’s take a step back and understand where those stem from: consumers. And not just any consumers — your target audience and customers.If your brand doesn’t resonate with your audience, it won’t lead to that awareness, recognition, trust, and revenue. That’s where target market research comes in.Before pressing pen to paper (or cursor to digital document), you must understand to whom your branding will be speaking. Who does your product serve? Who is your ideal customer? Why did you create your business in the first place?What you learn about your target market and buyer personas will influence your branding decisions down the line, so make this step your first priority.Download our free Persona Templates to easily organize your target audience research and strengthen your marketing.2. Establish your mission statementLet’s return to a question I asked in the previous step: Why did you create your business? Answering this will help you build your mission statement, which defines your purpose and passion as an organization.Before you can craft a brand that your audience recognizes, values, and trusts, you must be able to communicate the purpose that your business provides. Then, every part of your brand (logo, tagline, imagery, voice, and personality) can reflect that mission and vision.Your mission statement is a building block of your brand manifesto, which encompasses why your organization exists and why people should care about your brand.Download our free guide to Defining Inspiring Mission and Vision Statements and learn the ins-and-outs of two of the most valuable strategic planning elements for businesses.3. Define your unique values, qualities, and benefitsThere are probably lots of businesses in your industry and niche. It’s easy to focus on your competition (and there’s a time and place for competitive analysis), but, for now, let’s focus on you.What’s one thing that your business has that no one else can mimic (er, legally)? Your brand.Because of that, you must ensure that your brand is comprised of and inspired by elements that are solely yours: the values, benefits, and qualities that make your company unique.Take a moment to jot down a list of what sets your business apart from others. I’m not talking about product features (like appearance, components, or capabilities); I’m referring to how your products or services improve lives and contribute to success.Real-life brand example: Alani NutritionYou’ve probably never heard of Alani Nu; they’re a nutrition company based in my hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. I order their vitamins because 1) they’re proven to work, and 2) I trust and respect the brand (and it’s gorgeous!). On their website, they’ve clearly and simply outlined their unique values and benefits as part of their overall brand. Highlighting these makes it easy for customers like me to trust their products and choose them over competitors.4. Create your visual assetsAt this point, you should understand your target audience, your mission statement, and the unique qualities that make up your business.If you can say with confidence that you’ve mastered these steps, it’s time to move onto one of the more exciting parts of branding — the visual design. We’re talking about your logo, color palette, typography (fonts), iconography, and other visual components.As you create these elements, build a set of brand guidelines (or a brand style guide) to govern the composition and use of your visual assets. This will ensure that whoever uses your new branding does so accurately and consistently. Check out HubSpot’s brand guidelines for reference.Note: Design can be just as intimidating as it is exciting. Consider hiring a professional with logo and identity design experience or starting with a few helpful design templates.Take your brand to the next level with this free e-book on creating a brand style guide. Download templates, too!5. Find your brand voiceNext, consider the auditory component of your brand. What would your brand sound like if you had a conversation with it, or if it texted you?How you communicate with your target market is also considered part of your branding. You want to define a brand voice that connects and resonates with your audience — otherwise, they probably won’t pay attention. Because of that, don’t hesitate to return to step one to get familiar with to whom you’re speaking.From your advertising campaigns and social media captions to your blog posts and brand story, ensure your tone is consistent throughout all of your written content. Give your audience a chance to get familiar with your brand and learn to recognize the sound of your voice. Better yet, master a fun, entertaining voice, and your customers will look forward to your social media and email updates.Real-life brand example: MailChimpMailChimp is a great example of a brand that speaks with a clear, consistent tone. When I used their free plan for my small business, I always chuckled when receiving their emails and working in their interface. From its web copy to its email blasts and social media captions, MailChimp has established a brand voice and personality that is personable, fun, and accessible — it can be hard to explain the technical parts of a software product (like A/B testing), but MailChimp has mastered that, too.Source6. Put your branding to workYour brand only works if you do. Once you finish designing and creating your new brand (or rebrand) integrate it throughout every inch of your business. Pay extra attention to ensure it’s displayed anywhere your business touches customers. Here are a handful of tips for applying your brand across your organization.WebsiteSplash your logo, color palette, and typography across your website. Don’t use anything but your predefined assets in your brand guidelines. Your website is a major part of your company identity — if it doesn’t reflect your brand, it will only provide a jarring customer experience. Also, be sure that all web copy, calls-to-action, and product descriptions reflect your brand voice.Social mediaAll profile photos, cover art, and branded imagery should reflect your brand. Consider putting your logo as your profile photo — this will make it easier for customers to recognize your business. As with your website, be sure all profile information, posts, and captions reflect your brand voice.PackagingIf you have a physical products business, your product is probably the most tangible way that customers interact with your brand. For that reason, your packaging should reflect your new branding — in its design, colors, size, and feel.Real-life brand example: ChobaniI love Chobani yogurt (confession: I’m eating it right now). Their new branding immediately tells me that they produce authentic, healthy Greek yogurt. That’s one of the main reasons I buy Chobani. Recently, I realized that their yogurt packages are made with a very earthy, textured material — an intentional decision that supports the overall experience they’ve paired with purchasing and eating the Chobani brand.AdvertisingBecause advertisements (digital and print) are often used to establish brand awareness and introduce consumers to your brand, it’s critical that they reflect your branding. In fact, your branding should make the ad creation process easier — with your brand style guide, you already know how your ads should appear and what type of copy to write.Sales and customer serviceA brand is only as powerful as the people behind it, and if your people aren’t putting your brand to work, it won’t work for you. Moreover, your brand applies to more than your marketing. Inform your sales and customer service folks of your brand guidelines and tell them to use it, especially when they engage directly with customers. Whether they are sharing a branded product demo or answering customer support inquiries, encourage them to use your logo, tagline, imagery, and brand voice.Download our Essential Guide to Branding Your Company to learn everything you need to go from same-old business to must-have brand. The Importance of Branding Branding Tips for Small BusinessTreat your brand as a personPrioritize consistencyFollow a brand strategyDon’t let inspiration turn into imitationUse branding to hire Your brand is arguably one of your organization’s most important assets. It gives your organization an identity, makes your business memorable, encourages consumers to buy from you, supports your marketing and advertising, and brings your employees pride. Don’t forget to share this post! Branding Terms to Know Branding Tips for Small Business Topics: Originally published Apr 2, 2019 8:54:32 AM, updated April 03 2019 What’s a brand?Before I dive into the importance of branding and how to build a brand, let’s go back to basics: What is a brand?A brand is a feature or set of features that distinguish one organization from another. A brand is typically comprised of a name, tagline, logo or symbol, design, brand voice, and more. It also refers to the overall experience a customer undergoes when interacting with a business — as a shopper, customer, social media follower, or mere passerby.What is branding?Branding is the process of researching, developing, and applying a distinctive feature or set of features to your organization so that consumers can begin to associate your brand with your products or services.Branding is an iterative process and requires getting in touch with the heart of your customers and your business. It’s important for a variety of reasons — I dive into these next. Treat your brand as a personTo best wrap your head around the branding process, think of your brand as a person. Your brand should have an identity (who it is), personality (how it behaves), and experience (how it’s remembered).Ask yourself these questions about your brand:How would your brand introduce itself? If it had to describe its appearance, how would it do so?How would your brand talk about your products or services? Would it be serious and professional, or would it be humorous and edgy?What would someone say about your brand after “meeting” it for the first time? What are a few sentences they’d use to describe it?The purpose of branding is to create relationships with your customers. The easiest way to do this is to treat your brand as a person and understand that you want your customers to do the same.Real-life brand example: Whiskey RiffWhiskey Riff is another brand you’re probably not familiar with. It’s a two-man media company based here in Chicago that’s dubbed themselves “the most entertaining country music site ever”. I’m a fan because I love country music, enjoy their written and podcast content, and proudly wear some of their awesome apparel.If Whiskey Riff was a person, here’s how I’d think it would answer the questions above:“Hey, I’m Whiskey Riff. I love country music and, you guessed it, Whiskey. My logo was inspired by the Y in the circle on the Chicago Theater marquee, and I’m adorned with horizontal red stripes and stars — which represent the American and Chicago flags.”“I publish in-your-face content about what’s going on in country music today. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. My podcast featured my founders interviewing country music artists and telling hilarious stories. Check out my apparel line; my t-shirts, tanks, hats, and accessories can be seen at country music festivals (and on stages) nationwide.”“Whiskey Riff is like that first shot of Jack Daniels — that much-needed, refreshing drink after a long day. Its a break from that cookie-cutter way of life, and you immediately appreciate — and trust — its candidness. There’s absolutely nothing like it in the industry.” How to Create a Brand
13 Twitter Marketing Tips Customize and brand your profileCreate Twitter ListsHost a Twitter ChatAdvertise on TwitterDrive traffic to your websiteUse Twitter MomentsGet verified on TwitterFocus on building your follower count What is a Twitter Marketing Strategy? Don’t forget to share this post! Whether pop-culture, local or global news, work, or the brands I use and wear, Twitter is a powerful social networking tool and search engine in which I can typically find the latest information about virtually any topic. This also includes updates from the companies and businesses I care about.Businesses, like HubSpot, are able to market on Twitter to engage users and followers, increase brand awareness, boost conversions, and more (we’ll discuss the “more” shortly). Twitter makes it easy to distribute content. And, there are over 326 million average monthly Twitter users globally for you to share that content with.The thought of reaching hundreds of millions of leads through a free social media platform sounds intriguing, right? But how do you actually ensure you’re generating fantastic content those people will want to interact with?In this guide, we’ll answer that question along with some others including what a Twitter marketing strategy is, how you can use Twitter for your business, and what tips and tricks you can implement to help you improve your marketing efforts on the platform.Let’s get started. How to Use Twitter For Business Topics: Use keyword targeting in your Twitter AdsImplement hashtagsOrganize a content sharing scheduleCreate a Twitter campaignWrite a strong profile bioUse images and videosInteract with your followersShare media mentionsKeep an eye on your competitors’ Twitter accountsFocus on followers’ interests and needs when creating contentPromote your eventsCheck your direct messages regularlyKeep track of your analytics What is a Twitter marketing strategy?A Twitter marketing strategy is a plan centered around creating, publishing, and distributing content for your buyer personas, audience, and followers through the social media platform. The goal of this type of strategy is to attract new followers and leads, boost conversions, improve brand recognition, and increase sales.Creating a Twitter marketing strategy will require you to follow the same steps you would if you were creating any other social media marketing strategy.Research your buyer personas and audienceCreate unique and engaging contentOrganize a schedule for your postsAnalyze your impact and resultsSo, you might be wondering what makes Twitter unique. Why would you want to actually invest the time in creating a profile and content for the platform?Click here to access a free Twitter for Businesses kit.What makes Twitter unique?Twitter is a great marketing tool for a number of reasons. The platform …… is free to use.… allows you to share and promote branded content in seconds.… expands your reach.… allows you to provide quick customer service and support.… works as a search engine tool for you to search for your competitors and their marketing content to see which tactics they’re using.… can be used as a search engine tool for prospects to find and learn about your company.… allows you to converse with your followers, share the latest updates about your company, and address your audience.Now that we’ve reviewed what a Twitter marketing strategy is and what makes the platform unique, let’s cover the ways in which you can use Twitter for your business. These tips will help you boost conversions, create lasting relationships with your followers, and improve your brand awareness. How to Use Twitter For Business The following Twitter marketing tips are universal, meaning they’re applicable to any type of business, in every industry..1. Use keyword targeting in your Twitter Ads.Keyword targeting on Twitter is component of Twitter Ads. Keyword targeting allows you to engage Twitter users through the different words and phrases you’ve included in your content and they’ve searched for on the platform. This means you’re able to reach your target audience at the exact time your business, content, and services are most relevant to them.On Twitter, there are two types of keyword targeting you can use including search and timeline.Search Keyword TargetingSearch keyword targeting allows you to make your tweets show up for users who are searching for the topics that you determined relate to your business. For example, if you sell gluten free cookies, you can target users searching for tweets about baking, cookies, gluten intolerance, or Celiac Disease.Timeline Keyword TargetingTimeline keyword targeting allows you to act on users’ specific feelings, thoughts, actions, and emotions they’ve tweeted about. For example, if you’re a running gear company, you might target keywords and phrases users tweet about such as, “running a race”, “race day tips”, or “training for a marathon”.2. Implement hashtags.Did you know tweets with hashtags receive two-times as much engagement as tweets without them?Adding hashtags to your tweets is a great way to expand your influence on Twitter. However, there are some guidelines you’ll want to stick to when using hashtags to ensure that you reach the largest number of people possible.Create a hashtag that’s unique to your business so your followers and target audience can easily find you and your content.Create relevant and memorable hashtags for other groups of tweets such as ones related to a specific campaign you’re running.Use Twitter Analytics to review your most successful hashtags so you can ensure their use in future tweets.Don’t overuse hashtags — this may feel and look spammy to your audience (not to mention it isn’t aesthetically pleasing). Also, tweets with more than two hashtags see a 17% decrease in engagement than those with one or two hashtags.3. Organize a content sharing schedule.As you grow your base of followers, you’ll need to post on a regular basis to ensure they stay engaged with your business and content. Not only do you want to tweet regularly, but you also want to tweet at the right times of the day. Here are some details about the best times (on average) for businesses to share their Twitter content:Between 8–10 AM and 6–9 PM (in correlation with commuter schedules) on weekdaysAround noon or between 5–6 PM on any day of the weekFor B2C companies, the best days to tweet are weekendsFor B2B companies, the best days to tweet are weekdaysIn terms of how often you should post your content on Twitter, there’s no real rule — it’s more about ensuring the content you’re sharing has a purpose and meaning. You can also review Twitter Analytics to take a deep dive into what your engagement looks like on the days you post more or less content to determine what’s working well for your specific audience.Once you’ve determined when and how often you’re going to post your content, you can enlist the help of a social media management tool. This will allow you to both create your tweets and schedule them in advance so you can focus on other tasks you have to complete.Here are a few examples of popular social media scheduling tools you can use for your Twitter marketing strategy:Sprout Social provides you with a range of features to help you reach your target audience and buyer personas through Twitter including platform analytics, engagement tools, scheduling capabilities, and details about the type of content your audience wants.Twitter Analytics allows you to analyze your tweets, understand which content is helping your business grow, and learn about your followers.HubSpot has a social tool which allows you to schedule posts in advance, connect directly with your audience, and understand how your Twitter interactions are helping your business’ bottom line.4. Create a Twitter campaign.Social media marketing campaigns of any kind are a great way to reach your audience, drive sales, and increase your website traffic. You can create a social media marketing campaign specifically for Twitter to target users and increase your base of followers all while raising your brand awareness through the platform.To create a Twitter marketing campaign, you’ll want to follow the same steps you would with any type of social media marketing campaign.Research your competitionDetermine how you’ll appeal to your target audienceChoose the type of content you’ll createShare and promote your contentAnalyze your results5. Write a strong profile bio.Writing a strong and memorable bio for your Twitter profile is crucial. This is because your Twitter bio is the first thing a profile visitor will read about your company — it’s your written introduction and should briefly explain what visitors can expect from your page and content. You only have 160 characters to do this, so choose your words wisely to ensure your bio successfully represents your brand and reflects who you are as a company.6. Use images and videos.When possible, try to include quality videos and photos in your tweets. It’s been proven that tweets with images outperform tweets strictly made of text. Photos and images provide an eye-catching and engaging element in your content as Twitter users scroll through their feeds. Videos are proven to actually outperform tweets with images as well. In fact, tweets with videos are likely to get an average of six times the amount of engagement than tweets without them.Videos and images are a great way to show your audience your product line or how to use an item you sell as well as make your content feel more personal. Plus, images and videos in tweets are proven to help you increase your engagement — and who wouldn’t want that?7. Interact with your followers.Remembering to engage with your followers as your business grows and Twitter follower count increases is crucial. This will help you create experiences for your followers and audience members that feel personal and keep them coming back to your profile all while fostering a sense of brand loyalty. For example, if someone retweets your post or comments on your tweet, you can “Like” that person’s interaction or even tweet back to them with a response.8. Share media mentions.If your business is mentioned in the media, share the article, video, URL, or image on Twitter. It’ll make your business feel more legitimate to anyone checking out your profile as well as show prospective followers how many other people already know about your company and are enjoying your products and services.This is an exciting way to broadcast your success to your audience. It also provides you with a way to incorporate backlinks in your tweets which, when clicked, take your audience members to the original source of the mention. Meaning you’ll also drive traffic to the website of the media outlet that mentioned you, likely boosting their follower count and/ or brand recognition. This could potentially help you become mentioned, shared, or featured in one of their pieces of content again in the future.9. Keep an eye on your competitors’ Twitter accounts.Twitter is a great way to keep an eye on your competitors’ marketing efforts. You can follow them or simply search them to see what they’re posting. You can also view basic details about their engagement such as their number of retweets, comments, and responses. This is a simple way to see some of the Twitter marketing strategies your competitors are implementing and whether or not they’re working.10. Focus on followers’ interests and needs when creating content.If you want to reach your audience members and ensure your content resonates with them, you’ll need to focus on their interests and needs— whether that’s in relation to the way you share content, what you share, or how you present it.When you meet the needs of your target audience and buyer personas, they’ll be more likely to continue to follow and interact with your company. As you study your buyer personas and target audience, you’ll be able to determine the type of content they’re likely looking for you to share. Additionally, you can always tweet questions, send out surveys, ask for feedback, or even create a Twitter Chat to get more ideas about the type of content your audience is looking for from your business and Twitter profile.11. Promote your events.Twitter is a great way to promote your business’ events. Similar to the way you might for a Twitter campaign, you can create a unique hashtag for various events (such as launch parties, giveaways, and contests) or schedule a variety of tweets (using one of your social media management tools) to promote any special occasion your company is hosting. This way, audience members — whether or not they’re your followers — will have the opportunity to learn about your event and get all of the details they need to sign up, be in attendance, or participate.12. Check your direct messages regularly.Like other social media platforms, Twitter provides users with a Direct Message inbox where they can contact you in a private message regarding any questions, concerns, or comments they have. So, be sure to check your inbox regularly as this can contribute to the type of customer service and support your business is known for, as well as the type of care you provide your followers and customers.Source13. Keep track of your analytics.With all of the work you’re putting into your business’ Twitter marketing, you’ll want to ensure your efforts are successful in reaching your goals whether they’re related to directing more traffic to your website, increasing conversions, or improving brand awareness.You can determine your Twitter marketing success in these areas (and many more) by analyzing your work. To do this, you’ll want to consider which metrics matter to you and then determine how you’re going to track them.Which Metrics to Track on TwitterDue to every business being unique and having different goals, you might not be interested in tracking all of the following Twitter metrics (or you might be looking to track additional metrics). However, we’ve compiled the following list of possible metrics for you to consider to get you started.Engagement: Look at the number of retweets, follows, replies, favorites, and click-throughs your tweets get (including all hashtags and links they include).Impressions: Review the number of times your tweets appeared on one of your audience members’ timelines (whether or not they’re actually following you).Hashtags: Look at which of your hashtags are being used most frequently by your audience and followers.Top tweets: Review your tweets with the most engagement.Contributors: Keep up with the level of success each of your contributors — the people you give admin access to on your account — are having with their tweets so you can implement some of their tactics more regularly or remove them completely.How to Track Twitter AnalyticsThere are a number of social media management tools, such as Sprout Social, HubSpot, and Hootsuite, with analytics features automatically built in. This is convenient for those of you who were already planning on choosing a management tool to assist with the scheduling of your posts. However, one of the most common analytics tools for Twitter is the one created specifically for the platform: Twitter Analytics.Twitter AnalyticsTwitter Analytics helps you understand how your content impacts your audience and the ways in which your activity on the platform can help you grow your business. The tool is free, accessible to all users, and includes information about your Twitter engagement rate, impressions, tweet activity, and information about your followers.Depending on your business’ needs, you have the ability to incorporate Twitter Ads (if you pay for the option) data in Twitter Analytics as well. Lastly, there are a number of other third-party resources and apps you can download and use along with Twitter Analytics to take a deeper look at specific types of data such as detailed hashtag performance information or how other Twitter handles in your industry are doing.Start Marketing on TwitterTwitter is a powerful marketing tool and social media platform any business can take advantage of. It has the ability to help you direct more traffic to your website, improve brand awareness, engage your audience, create personal relationships with your followers and customers, boost conversions, and increase your sales. So, consider the Twitter for business tactics as well as the marketing tips and tricks mentioned above and get started sharing content on Twitter to help you grow your business today. As you begin using Twitter for your business, there are some steps you’ll want to take to ensure you reach your target audience. Depending on your goals, company size, and industry, you may or may not choose to work through each of the following steps (or you may have already completed some of them), so tailor them to your needs.Learn how to use Twitter for business to better share, engage, and market on the platform. 1. Customize and brand your profile.When someone looks at your company’s Twitter profile, you want them to automatically know it’s yours. Meaning you should customize and brand your Twitter profile with your logo, colors, and any other recognizable and memorable details you want to incorporate. There are a few locations in which you can customize your profile.Handle: Your Twitter handle is your username (for example, our handle is @hubspot) — this should include your company’s name so your followers, customers, and fans can easily search and find you on the platform. You create your Twitter handle when you sign up for an account.Header: The header on your Twitter profile is your background image. You might choose to create a unique image for your header, use your logo, or another branded image.Profile picture: Your Twitter profile picture represents your company’s every move, interaction, post, and tweet on the platform. It’s the image that sits above your bio and might include a picture of your logo, company’s initials, or CEO.Bio: A Twitter bio provides everyone who visits your profile with a brief synopsis of what they’re about to see in 160 characters or less. It might include your mission statement, a blurb about what your company does, or something humorous and engaging.Website URL: Beneath your profile picture and bio, there’s a location where you can include your URL to direct traffic straight to your website.Birthday: In the same location as your URL, you can insert your company’s birthday — or the day when the company was founded — so your audience gets to know your business on a more personal level.Source2. Create Twitter Lists.A Twitter List — which any user has the ability to create and view — is an organized group of Twitter accounts you’ve selected and put together in specific categories. For example, at HubSpot, lists include Leadership Experts, Top Marketing Experts, Top Business Podcasters, and more. When you open a Twitter List, you only see tweets posted by the accounts on the list.Twitter Lists are great if you want to follow only specific accounts. You might segment your lists into groups such as business inspiration, competitors, and target audience so you’re able to easily review their posts, interactions, and content.Source3. Host a Twitter Chat.You can schedule and host a Twitter chat to engage your followers, discuss a topic, create a sense of community, and ask your audience for their opinions or input on something you’re working on.To host a Twitter Chat (or TweetChat), you’ll need to choose a topic, set a time and date for the chat to occur, and create a hashtag for the chat. You can share this information with your followers in a tweet, on your website, in your Twitter bio, and wherever else you choose.Everyone who wants to participate in the Twitter Chat should then be able to view all responses, questions, and comments regarding your topic of choice by searching your unique hashtag, as well as sharing their own comments and thoughts by adding the hashtag to their tweets.Twitter Chats promote interaction and engagement on your profile and get people talking about your brand. It also creates a more personal experience between your audience members and your business.Source4. Advertise on Twitter.Advertising through Twitter is a great way to reach your audience. This will make your tweets easily discoverable by thousands of people, helping you increase your influence and following. You can do this through promoted tweets or Twitter Ads.Promoted TweetsPromoted tweets make your tweets appear in the Twitter streams or Twitter search results of specific users. This is a great option for anyone looking to get more people on a specific webpage. Your business will pay a monthly fee as long as you’re promoting a tweet.Twitter will put your promoted tweets in a daily campaign targeting the type of audience you want to reach as previously indicated in your settings. All Twitter users have the ability to interact and engage with Twitter Ads the same way they would with your organic content.Twitter AdsTwitter Ads is a great option if you’re using different types of tweets to achieve one goal for your business. It’s ideal if you’re looking to grow your base of followers and brand awareness significantly through the platform.Your business can decide between different objectives when it comes to your Twitter ads including app installs, video views, and website conversions, as well as audience targeting for your campaigns. This decision will impact the price you’ll need to pay to run your ad.5. Drive traffic to your website.Twitter can help you direct traffic to your website — there are a number of ways to include your website’s URL on your profile as well as add links to your web pages and blogs in your tweets. Here are some ways you can use the platform to direct traffic to your website to help you increase your conversions and sales.Add your website URL beneath your bio on your Twitter profile.Incorporate links to your website in your tweets.Retweet any content that includes direct links to your website and/ or blogs other people have shared. Embed tweets on your website with a Twitter Timeline.Set up Twitter Ads to drive users to a specific landing page on your site. Twitter Marketing 6. Use Twitter Moments.Twitter Moments are collections of tweets about a specific topic or event. They’re like a “best of” collection of tweets regarding your topic of choice. For example, Twitter’s Moments section includes “Today”, “News”, “Entertainment”, and “Fun.”SourceYou can also create your own section of Moments for your followers to view on your profile. SourceYou might organize your Twitter Moments into groups of tweets to help you market your business’ events and campaigns or related industry news. They also help with your marketing tactics by providing your business with an engaging way to promote the discussion of specific topics and/ or events that matter to your company to help you share your brand image with audience members. 7. Get verified on Twitter.You might choose to apply to get your Twitter profile verified depending on the size of your company and your industry. Twitter states they typically only accept requests for account verification if you’re in “music, acting, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, sports, business, and other key interest areas.” If Twitter accepts your application and verifies your profile, a badge with a blue checkmark inside of it will appear next to your handle. This symbolizes an authentic account.SourceBeing verified prevents your audience members from following and being confused by impersonator accounts or accounts with similar content, usernames, and handles to yours. A verified account also makes your business look more legitimate and trustworthy.8. Focus on building your follower count.Needless to say, the more Twitter followers you have, the more people there are looking at and interacting with your content. You’ll have a better chance to improve brand awareness and direct more traffic to your website when you build your follower count on Twitter.Learn how to get more Twitter followers, fast. There are a number of ways you can increase your follower count on Twitter — here are some to get you started:Ensure your content is shareable.Use unique hashtags.Create engaging content (giveaways, contests, questions, surveys).Enlist the help of Twitter (social media) influencers.Include links to your Twitter profile on your website.Interact with your current followers and retweet their content so they’re more likely to do the same for you.Now that we’ve reviewed how to use Twitter for business, let’s cover some tips and tricks you can apply to your profile to improve your marketing efforts on the platform. Originally published May 10, 2019 12:41:00 PM, updated October 09 2019 13 Twitter Marketing Tips
Ravindra Jadeja justified his selection ahead of senior spinner R Ashwin by coming up with a handy contribution with the bat on Day 2 of India’s 1st innings in the 1st Test against West Indies at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.Jadeja hit his 11th Test fifty on Friday and helped India post 297 in their first innings of their World Test Championships campaign. Notably, it was also Jadeja’s 4th fifty-plus score, which includes a hundred, in his last 8 Test innings.India vs West Indies, 1st Test, Day 2: Live Cricket ScoreEven as Ravindra Jadeja brought out his famous ‘sword celebration’ after getting to his fifty, captain Virat Kohli stood up and applauded his effort from the dressing room. Kohli was cheering on Jadeja even as the all-rounder played a matured knock, stitching handy partnerships with the tail-enders.The all-rounder, who proved his critics wrong with a valiant half-century in India’s World Cup 2019 semi-final defeat, got the nod ahead of R Ashwin in the playing XI for the first Test of the ongoing 2-match series. Jadeja did not let the team management down as he hit 58 and batted brilliantly with the tail to give India a respectable first innings total.Ravindra Jadeja resumed batting on 3 on Day 2 and was in hurry as he took his time to settle into the innings. Despite losing Rishabh Pant early, Jadeja did not let West Indies demolish the lower-order as he added 60 crucial runs for the eigth wicket with Ishant Sharma.Ishant came up with a gritty 19 and, more importantly, faced 62 balls as his stand with Jadeja frustrated the West Indies bowlers. Jadeja also hit the first six of the innings after getting to his fifty. The all-rounder perished for 58 and was eventually the last Indian wicket to fall on Day 2.advertisementJadeja has started to take his batsman’s role seriously: Sunil GavaskarHeaping praise on Ravindra Jadeja’s efforts, Sunil Gavaskar, speaking to Sony Ten 1 at Lunch, said: “The good thing for Team India is he is taking his role as a batsman more seriously. Look, he has got 3 triple hundreds in first-class cricket. They have come in pretty flat pitches in Rajkot but a triple hundred is still a triple hundred. Because he is batting at No. 8 and No. 8, he had not taken his role seriously. He sees himself as a bowler.”With the situation that India found itself in, he realised he has to apply. This is only good for India cricket that he will take his role as a batsman seriousl,” Gavaskar added.India were reeling at 25 for 3 inside 8 overs on Day 1 after losing Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara cheaply. However, Ajinkya Rahane who hit 81 came up with crucial stand with KL Rahul and Hanuma Vihari to steer India out of trouble before Jadeja’s 58 pushed their total.Also Read | Ravi Shastri has to win big tournaments to justify appointment: Sourav GangulyAlso See:
Australia paceman Josh Hazlewood took three big wickets in the final hour of play to reduce England to 200-5 on day three of the fourth Ashes test, setting up his team for another great chance for a victory to retain the urn.Replying to Australia’s 497-8, England was 166-2 with Rory Burns and Joe Root on a partnership of 141 when Hazlewood’s burst of wickets arrived at Old Trafford.Burns edged to Steve Smith at second slip for 81, Root was trapped lbw in Hazlewood’s next over for 71, and Jason Roy missed with a weak defensive prod and saw his middle stump uprooted on 22.Ben Stokes (7) and Jonny Bairstow (2) were in the middle when bad light brought an end to play about 30 minutes before the scheduled finish. Two-and-a-half hours were lost to rain at the start of the day.England trailed by 297 runs, and needed 98 more runs to avoid potentially being asked to follow-on.The teams are at 1-1 with one more test to play, at the Oval next week. The Australians will retain the urn with a win in Manchester.Hazlewood has figures of 4-48 off 20 overs, having also taken the wicket of nightwatchman Craig Overton off the ninth ball of the day after England resumed on 23-1.Yet Pat Cummins might have been Australia’s best bowler on Friday, the pacemen somehow not getting a wicket in a superb 10-over spell either side of tea which only went for 22 runs. Root played and missed a number of times as the light started to fade.advertisementAlso Read | Steve Smith recreating Don Bradman for those who haven’t seen the legend batAlso see:
Iran handed Cambodia a record-breaking 14-0 thrashing on an historic day in Tehran as goals flowed in World Cup qualifiers across Asia with Japan, South Korea and Australia securing comfortable wins on Thursday.Striker Karim Ansarifard scored four times and Sardar Azmoun netted a hat-trick for Iran who claimed a second straight win in Group C.The game at the Azadi Stadium, however, was as notable for the presence of 3,500 female fans, who were allowed into the stadium in Tehran for a World Cup qualifier for the first time in the four decades since the Islamic Revolution.Iran, five-times World Cup qualifiers, lead their group with six points from two games, two points ahead of second-placed Iraq who beat Hong Kong 2-0.Holding our tears back as women in #Iran attend a football game in Azadi Stadium.Sahar Khodayari self-immolated outside a courthouse where she was facing prosecution for trying to defy the state ban on women in stadiums https://t.co/AMUZaK0gax. pic.twitter.com/90SI12smnRIranHumanRights.org (@ICHRI) October 10, 2019Excitement and joy as women enter #Iran’s Azadi Stadium to watch a football match. They’ve been banned from purchasing tickets for the past 38 years and have been facing arrest and prosecution for decades to win back this right. #FIFA pic.twitter.com/d1Q4ZcSg8pIranHumanRights.org (@ICHRI) October 10, 2019Tottenham Hotspur striker Son Heung-min was on target twice in South Korea’s 8-0 win over Sri Lanka as Paulo Bento’s team secured their second win in Group H to sit level on points with North Korea.advertisementLebanon are three points behind after securing their first win thanks to a 2-1 victory over Turkmenistan.Defender Maya Yoshida was among the scorers as Japan notched up a 6-0 win over Mongolia in Group F and they are joint-top with Tajikistan – who they play on Tuesday – with Kyrgyzstan in third following their 7-0 win over Myanmar.2022 World Cup hosts Qatar, playing in the qualifiers as they double up as eliminators for the 2023 Asian Cup finals, earned a 2-0 win over Bangladesh in Group E.Qatar lead the standings by one point from Oman who sealed a 3-0 win over Afghanistan.China swatted aside Guam, with Yang Xu scoring four goals in a 7-0 win in Group A, while Syria laboured to a 2-1 victory over the Maldives following Ahmad Al Salih’s 65th-minute sending-off to join the Chinese on six points from two games.Also Read | Brazil draws 1-1 with Senegal as Neymar reaches 100 capsAlso See:
FA Cup Manchester United vs Derby County: TV channel, stream, kick-off time, odds & match preview Ryan Kelly Last updated 1 year ago 17:00 1/5/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty FA Cup Manchester United Manchester United v Derby County Derby County Jose Mourinho’s men returned to winning ways at the beginning of the year and they will be desperate to string a series of positive results together Manchester United welcome Championship side Derby County to Old Trafford on Friday as they get their FA Cup campaign under way.The Red Devils ended a four-game winless run when they defeated Everton 1-0 on New Year’s Day and Jose Mourinho will be keen for his players to build on that as they come out the other side of a hectic festive schedule.Derby, meanwhile, are enjoying a seven-game unbeaten streak in all competitions so they will fancy their chances of staging an upset against the Premier League giants. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Game Manchester United vs Derby County Date Friday, January 5 Time 20:00 GMT / 15:00 ET Stream (US only) fuboTV (7-day free trial) TV CHANNEL & LIVE STREAM The game is not being shown live on television in the United Kingdom, but Goal will be providing updates here. US TV channel Online stream FS2 fuboTV In the United States (US), the FA Cup can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial). New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.SQUADS & TEAM NEWS Position Man United players Goalkeepers De Gea, Romero, Pereira Defenders Lindelof, Jones, Rojo, Smalling, Blind, Shaw, Valencia, Darmian, Tuanzebe Midfielders Pogba, Mata, Lingard, Young, Herrera, Mkhitaryan, Matic, Mitchell, McTominay Forwards Lukaku, Martial, Rashford Manchester United are certain to be without a number of key first-team players with Eric Bailly, Michael Carrick and Zlatan Ibrahimovic all ruled out, but Marouane Fellaini could return.Romelu Lukaku has been cleared to take part in the game following his head injury against Southampton, while Ashley Young is suspended.Potential Man Utd starting XI: Romero; Darmian, Jones, Smalling, Shaw; Matic, Pogba, Lingard, Young; Martial, Rashford. Position Derby players Goalkeepers Carson, Mitchell Defenders Forsyth, Shackell, Keogh, Baird, Wisdom, Pearce, Lowe, Hanson, Olsson, Davies Midfielders Anya, Lawrence, Johnson, Thorne, Ledley, Guy, Bird, Huddlestone Forwards Russell, Martin, Bent, Winnall, Weimann, Bennett, Vydra, Nugent, Thomas Derby have a number of injury concerns coming into the game, with Wales international duo Tom Lawrence and Joe Ledley both carrying knocks, while Bradley Johnson is also being monitored.Rams boss Gary Rowett has indicated that he will make some “subtle changes” to his starting XI in order to cope with the busy schedule.Potential Derby starting XI: Carson; Forsyth, Keogh, Davies, Baird; Huddlestone, Winnall, Vydra, Russell, Weimann; Nugent.BETTING & MATCH ODDS Manchester United are 1/4 favourites to win according to dabblebet, with Derby priced at 11/1 to beat the Red Devils. A draw is available at 9/2.Click here to see all of dabblebet’s offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more.GAME PREVIEW The festive period was undoubtedly a rocky patch for Man United and a series of disappointing results has seen them cede considerable ground to their rivals in the league as well as seeing them exit the Carabao Cup.Mourinho’s side suffered a humiliating last-minute elimination in the Carabao Cup quarter-final at the hands of another Championship side – Bristol City – and they will be desperate to avoid a repeat of that scenario when they take on Derby.On paper, Rowett’s Rams pose more of a threat to United than Bristol City did, boasting a plethora of experienced internationals in their squad, so it is certainly a game that the Red Devils cannot afford to take lightly by implementing mass changes.That said, the busy schedule has taken its toll on the United squad, with injuries to Lukaku and Ibrahimovic handing Mourinho an unwelcome selection quandary, but the Portuguese will be buoyed by the performances of Jesse Lingard, who has shone in recent matches.
Let’s look at that wild Miketavius Jones sack of Jerrod Heard in the third quarter on Saturday. What Texas Was DoingTexas is in a shotgun formation with 4 WRs split out wide (three to the left of the frame, one to the right) and the RB to the left of Heard. It’s a third and long situation, and everyone in the stadium knew a pass (or scramble) was coming.Once the ball is snapped, all 4 WRs and the RB are running a route. This leaves just the offensive line to block for Heard.What OSU Was DoingAdChoices广告Last week, we saw a play from OSU’s defense in its 3-3-5 nickel package. We got to see it again this week, but with a fun twist.OSU is in a 3-3-5 again, but, if you notice, all three defensive linemen are standing straight up. For the sake of this post, we’ll just call this package the 3-3-5 Stand Up. A variation of the Psycho package OSU sometimes uses. (You may have noticed OSU start running this particular package in 2013 when Spencer took over as defensive coordinator.)Three defensive linemen: Emmanuel Ogbah, Vincent Taylor and Jimmy BeanThree LBs: Ryan Simmons, Seth Jacobs and Jordan BurtonAnd five DBs, usually three of which are CBsAlthough it’s hard to see in the GIF, there are seven OSU players crowding the line of scrimmage—the three linemen, three LBs and Miketavius Jones.Already you can see how this formation might cause problems for Texas. The offensive line sees seven people are threatening to rush. Of course, players disguising blitzes before dropping into coverage is a big part of football so we would assume not all seven defenders are rushing, but the offensive line doesn’t know who is rushing and who is going to be dropping back into coverage.Before the ball is snapped, the line may already be confused trying to figure out what their blocking assignments would be and that confusion could carry over into how they block for Heard. This leads to missed assignments, which, in turn, leads to hurried throws or sacks.Once the ball is snapped, every defender rushes except for Burton and Jacobs, who drops back to cover the man left free when Jones blitzes.Here’s where the play gets really fun.Looking at the GIF, you can see there’s a lot of lateral movement going on amongst the players rushing. These are called stunts. A stunt is basically just a pre-planned maneuver used by defensive linemen or LBs to fool the offensive linemen. A stunt can allow the person performing the stunt to slip past a block, or it could be designed so that the person performing the stunt is freeing up another defender to get free.If you remember the defensive film breakdown from the Central Arkansas game a couple weeks ago, I wrote a little bit about gap assignments and how important they are. Gap assignments become even more important when a stunt is involved because a player could line up on one offensive lineman or gap prior to the snap and be in a completely different spot when the ball is snapped. Again, this all is done with the intent of confusing the offensive line and QB.So, let’s look at the gap assignments/stunts on this play.Starting with three defensive linemen, we see that Taylor is in a 0-technique because he’s lined up directly on top of the center. Ogbah and Bean are both in 5-techniques because they’re lined up on the outside shoulders of the tackles.Why this worked for OSUWhen the ball is snapped, Taylor leaves his position at the 0-technique and goes across the face of the left guard before taking the left tackle head on.Bean allows Taylor to cross in front of him and moves to fill the spot left by Taylor. When two linemen crisscross in this way it’s usually just referred to as a twist. This is the most common stunt you’ll see and it’s used at the high school, collegiate and pro levels.Bean briefly engages with the LG before pushing off and heading to the middle of the field, presumably to play contain on Heard should he escape the pressure. Ogbah explodes off the ball and immediately heads toward the A-gap (the gap between the center and guard). Because he’s Ogbah, he rightfully draws a double team from the center and right guard.Now, if you were to pause the play right when Simmons crosses the line of scrimmage, you would notice that the LT, LG, C and RG are all engaged in blocking Taylor, Bean and Ogbah, or at least trying to.That leaves one linemen, the right tackle, to block two players, Simmons and Jones. Well, just like all RTs, Texas’ RT is slow. And Simmons is fast. And Jones is really fast. The RT had no chance at being able to block either of these guys, and you can see him completely whiff on Jones.It did look like Heard had every intention of passing on this play, but Simmons and Jones got to him so quick that Heard had no choice but to take off. That’s when both Simmons and Jones chase Heard backward before Jones brings him down for a monster 22-yard loss.There’s no doubt this play was one of the defining plays of the game. This sack causes Texas a chance at an easy three points, and with the way this game was going, that could have aided Texas in getting the victory later on. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
Previous position previews: RB | CW | WR | OL | S | CBLet’s look at Oklahoma State’s linebacker group. They lose a couple of dudes in Jordan Burton and Devante Averette due to exhausted eligibility and some depth with Josh Mabin’s retirement. But Glenn Spencer has a lot of talentLet’s take a look.Chad WhitenerThe former Cal-transfer/walk-on has been a huge get for Oklahoma State. After Ryan Simmon’s career-ending injury thrust Whitener into a starting role, the soft-spoken sophomore made a name for himself in 2015 — including a 12-tackle, two-interception torpedo of Trevone Boykin’s Heisman hopes. In 2017, he has a real chance to be a superstar in the Big 12.Justin PhillipsPhillips saw meaningful playing time as a true freshman in 2014, including at 10-tackle outburst in that Bedlam win before redshirting his second year. In 2016, Phillips’ role increased and he should continue on that trajectory heading into 2017. In the Cowboys’ second-straight walloping of TCU, Phillips contributed with five total tackles, half a sack and an interception. He should be a key cog in Glenn Spencer’s rotation.Gyasi AkemThe 2017 redshirt senior has spent most of his time on special teams but with the loss of Burton and Averette, Akem will have the opportunity to compete for a starting role.Calvin BundageA highly-touted recruit from Edmond-Santa Fe, Bundage saw playing time as a true freshman last season. He earned a reputation for forcefully dislodging ball carriers’ mouth guards. By the end of the season, Bundage was in the two-deep behind “star” linebacker Jordan Burton who has exhausted his eligibility. Could Bundage be in the mix for a starting role?Kirk TuckerA two-year contributor on special teams who could figure into the mix for playing time on defense as well.Kevin HenryAs a redshirt freshman Henry made some plays from the “star” linebacker position in 2016 including an interception against TCU. He’s in line for an increased role in 2017.Devin HarperAfter a redshirt year in 2016, Harper will have a chance to compete for reps this spring, possibly at the “star” linebacker spot. Amen OgbongbemigaThe second cousin of Emmanuel Ogbah and No. 1-ranked middle linebacker from Alberta, Canada spent his first year in Stillwater redshirting but with some room opening up at the top of the depth chart, Ogbongbemiga will be looking to crack the rotation. Go ahead and start practicing saying his name now.Transfers & Incoming FreshmenPatrick Macon – At 6 foot 3 and 235 pounds, this guy is ready to come in and play now. Macon was the 4th-ranked juco inside linebacker in the nation last season and led all defenders (FBS included) with 27.5 tackles for loss. As an early enrollee, Macon will get to go through spring practices and the offseason workouts with the team.With the departure of Devante Averette, Macon can use this spring and offseason to make a bid for a starting spot opposite Chad Whitener.Brendan Vaughn – Currently the only high school prospect at linebacker in the 2017 class. Vaughn was somewhat of an unknown when Glenn Spencer and Co. extended an early offer but was able to showcase some of the attributes that OSU coaches liked finishing 3rd in Nike+ rankings at a regional camp last year. He’s currently a three-star prospect per 247Sports.2017 Projection MLB2JUSTIN PHILLIPSJUNIOR (RS) PLAYERCLASS WLB1PATRICK MACONJUNIOR WLB2GYASI AKEMSENIOR Key: SLB= “Star” Linebacker, MLB= “Mike” (strongside inside) Linebacker, WLB= “Will” (weakside inside) LinebackerMacon was brought in to play immediately. Get used to hearing his named. If Bundage doesn’t start initially he’ll definitely be in the rotation. With Burton gone, that “star” position is his for the taking.It should be a fun year. How much longer until September? SLB2KEVIN HENRYSOPHOMORE (RS) MLB1CHAD WHITENERSENIOR (RS) SLB1CALVIN BUNDAGESOPHOMORE While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.